BARNES International Realty
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An overview of the high-end real estate market in the mountain resorts of France and Switzerland

Real Estate & Art de Vivre


Méribel, Courchevel, Gstaad, mountainous prices!

What will €1 million get you at the ski resorts in the Alps? The BARNES network, the high-end real estate specialist, put the question to its offices in France and in Switzerland. For that sum, the only properties available are apartments. The prices of chalets are sky-high, despite a certain stagnation.

Megève has the most generous offer – you can get 80 sq.m (860 sq ft) with two bedrooms in the town centre. In comparison, in Gstaad, Switzerland, the same investment would only get you half the floor area (40 sq.m - 430 sq ft). Between those two extremes, €1M at Courchevel 1850 and Verbier (Switzerland) would get you properties with a floor space of between 65 and 70 sq.m (700 and 753 sq ft). This is also the case in the most desirable areas of Méribel, like Le Rond-Point des Pistes.

Indeed, the steepest rise in prices has been in Méribel, where luxury properties are negotiated at €30,000 per sq.m (approx. €2,787 per sq ft), up15% in one year. Such prices mean that real estate in some villages in Méribel costs as much as in Courchevel or Verbier. The reason for this is the ambitious policy initiated in recent years to build high-end developments for wealthy European purchasers, in particular by offering large penthouses for sale. These provide an advantageous alternative to chalets. They are spacious, require less upkeep, and, above all, offer multiple benefits thanks to the concierge services available to owners.

Each resort has retained its own identity, thus enabling each resort to cater to a specific clientele. Megève is all about discreet Savoyard elegance and art de vivre coveted by families living in Paris and Lyon; Courchevel is the nec plus ultra when it comes to luxury five-star hotels, which attract a more international clientele. Méribel has always attracted a British clientele. The prospect of Brexit has put many off in recent years, but 2019 has seen a return of Brits to the resort. Verbier in Switzerland is synonymous with authentic and discreet luxury. Gstaad has preserved its unique position by diversifying its offering (by means of well-being and concierge services). As for Crans-Montana, while its clientele is mostly Swiss, its worldwide reputation is expected to grow over the years. New gondola lifts are being installed, which has spurred a number of hotel chains to investment here. Over the long term, Crans-Montana is pretty much the gold standard.

And for $1 million?

When their means allow it, our international clientele looks farther afield than the French, Swiss or Italian Alps. They are big fans of Aspen, Colorado, and Vail, home to some of the most mind-blowing landscape on Earth! But these are mostly reserved for UHNWI! $1 million will buy you nothing in Vail, where prices start at least $2 million! However, in Aspen, you can buy a 55 sq.m (590 sq ft) apartment, but you’ll have to make do with one bedroom!


Some examples of properties

Méribel-Courchevel: A real jewel at the foot of the ski slopes. Sophistication and elegance are the watchwords in this 208 sq.m (2,240 sq ft) apartment, with its five en suite bedrooms. High-end features and 'haute couture' finishes. All the architectural features and decor are the work of Jean-Marc Mouchet, a renowned interior designer who is known for his creations in mountain areas, such as at the 'Les Grandes Alpes' luxury hotel in Courchevel.
Price: €5,060,000

Verbier: This fabulous 400 sq.m (4,300 sq ft) property comes with luxury features such as a well-being space that includes a sauna, a steam room, a jacuzzi and a gym. The six beautifully-finished en suite bedrooms, the large private outdoor area, the kitchen with its top-class fittings and the expansive and maximum comfort sitting room make this chalet a genuine tour de force. The property offers unique panoramic views and delicately combines the charm of local materials with the modernity of its amenities.

All the properties are detailed in the press release, which you can download below.